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Nixon Meets House Republicans To Talk Medicaid

Marshall Griffin
St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) says it’s possible that he could support the House Republicans’ alternate Medicaid proposal, if some crucial changes are made.

He met with the GOP caucus today to discuss his Medicaid expansion proposal and their plans to reform the system.  Nixon told reporters afterwards that any proposal still needs to expand Medicaid to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $32,500 for a family of four.

“(Health and Human Services) Secretary (Kathleen) Sibelius has been very clear that the Medicaid piece has to get you to 138 (percent)," Nixon said.  "How you get there, and the market-based reforms to get you there, I think is a good area for discussion, and I look forward to, as we move through the process, working together on getting a model to get to that federally-required number.”

Nixon says there’s plenty of time left in this year’s legislative session to reach an agreement.  House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) has not commented yet on today's meeting.

Meanwhile, the Missouri House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability is set to vote tonight on the Republican Medicaid bill.  House Bill 700 would only expand coverage to 100 percent of the federal poverty level, or an additional 180,000 Missourians, while removing about 44,000 children from the Medicaid rolls.  The governor remains opposed to that provision.  The measure would also enable private insurers to compete to provide coverage for Medicaid recipients, and recipients would be eligible for cash incentives if they stay healthy and avoid costly medical procedures.  It's sponsored by State Representative Jay Barnes (R, Jefferson City), who also chairs the committee.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshall Griffin is the Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio.
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